The night was full at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory when the teams received the first packets of data from the Perseverance rover hours after landing in Jezero Crater on Mars. And the first pictures are amazing. The most striking shows something that has never been seen before: the vehicle lowered a few meters before reaching the ground by the cables of the crane that brought it to the surface.
The agency also released an image from the HiRise camera from the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter satellite, which recorded the Perseverance capsule and parachute on its way down.
Parachute open during the descent of endurance, recorded by the HiRise camera of the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. (Image credit: NASA)
The imaging team also brought color and high-resolution images from the vehicle’s technical cameras and showed the first clear view of the surface in the landing area after the miniatures were hastily transferred in black and white with the protective lens caps still on. right after landing on the spot.
First image of Mars, taken by Perseverance after the protective lens cover was removed from one of its technical cameras. (Image credit: NASA)
Finally, NASA showed a zoom on the vehicle’s right front wheel showing rocks with patterns that interested scientists immediately. They are now discussing whether it is volcanic or sedimentary, which can have different effects on the interpretation of its properties.
The front right wheel of Perseverance in a zoom image from one of the technical cameras. (Image credit: NASA)
The data will continue to flow from Mars to Earth while engineers run logs to prepare software and hardware for ground operations. It is expected that there will be many more pictures and possibly videos of the descent on Monday (22nd) – which will show us for the first time what the “seven minutes of terror” really is, a process that begins from entering the Landing atmosphere on the floor of the red planet. The first movement on wheels is expected in eight days.
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